Groundhog Day, the film about Phil Connors (Murray) reliving the titular holiday over and over in
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is many things rolled up into a nice, neat package. It's an amazing Bill Murray showcase. It's a classic romantic high concept comedy. It popularized the time loop subgenre of science fiction that's been utilized in film and even in TV, as recently as Star Trek: Discovery. The film has really aged into a modern classic, going as far as spawning a Broadway play that Bill Murray famously saw two days in a row (it sadly didn't last).
Our scene this week is the first time Phil relives Groundhog Day. Murray's immediately and effortlessly a smug asshole, but Phil starts to get the sense of something wrong. He quickly goes to the window and sees the day unfolding just as it had the day before. I love that little bit of unsettling music that plays along with that.
Groundhog Day is pretty much wall-to-wall great actors/characters. "Porkchop" - played by Ken Hudson Campbell - is one such character. Billed as "Man in Hallway" his little scream when Phil pushes him up against the wall is perfect. His terrified expression when Phil finally walks away is great as well. This whole bit's great because Phil and the viewer really start to get a sense of the strangeness happening.
Even better than Porkchop, however, is Mrs. Lancaster, played by Angela Paton (sad to learn she just passed away in 2016). Her effortlessly charming "No, but I can check with the kitchen," is one of the best things in this scene.
With all that said, enjoy the scene. Looks like the next Friday Groundhog Day isn't until 2024.
What's your favorite scene from Groundhog Day?
What day would you love to relive over and over?
Here's a little recommendation...I recently watched Happy Death Day - a horror version of Groundhog Day, essentially - and it was amazing. The horror genre works so well with the time loop premise so I wonder why it's not used more often. Check out the trailer below.